Plans for more widespread HPV vaccinations delayed due to Corona
Boys and girls from the age of nine will not be vaccinated against HPV, the virus which can cause cervical cancer next year. This was stated in a letter from the Secretary of Public Health, Paul Blokhuis, to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament. Covid-19 was cited as the reason for this change in plans.
Initially, the plan was to vaccinate not only girls against HPV but boys as well. The age at which the children receive the vaccine was also supposed to go down from twelve to nine. Due to the current pandemic, these plans have been thwarted. In his letter, Blockhuis writes that “due to the high workload in the youth health care system and the deployment of staff in the fight against Covid-19, this aim is unfortunately not feasible.”
The plans will therefore be postponed to 2022. Moreover, Blockhuis announced that that would be the year to catch up on other vaccination programs that got delayed because of the coronavirus.
A study into possible side effects of vaccines among children, which was due to start in 2021, has also been pushed back. Blockhuis announced that under the current circumstances, it would be more challenging to approach parents. The study is therefore not expected to be completed before 2026.
The impact of corona on flu vaccination was not too bad, according to Blockhuis.